Introduction to this document

Meeting to discuss varying contract terms

Where you’re proposing to obtain an employee’s express consent to vary the terms of their employment contract, kick the process off with our letter.

Consultation is key

Where you wish to make a permanent change to an employee’s employment contract which isn’t already authorised by that contract, your starting point should always be to seek their consent to that change. You’ll therefore need to go through a consultation process with a view to obtaining that consent. Consultation will necessarily involve holding a series of individual meetings with the employee to discuss and explain your proposals. This is where our Meeting to Discuss Varying Contract Terms letter comes in. It arranges the first consultation meeting with the employee, which is your opportunity to set out in detail the nature and effect of the proposed change, and why you consider that it’s necessary for the future needs of your business. There’s also an optional paragraph you can use if you’ve already held a general staff meeting - do this first if the proposed contractual change affects several staff.

Employee representations

Consultation is two-way, so the meeting also enables the employee to give their initial feedback on the proposed change, to explain to you how the change will impact on them personally and to explore with you whether there are any possible alternatives to making the change. Once you’ve held this first meeting, you can then formally seek the employee’s consent to the change - see our Letter Seeking Agreement to Vary Employment Contract Terms. After that, hold further individual meetings with the employee as necessary - although you might not need any additional meetings if the employee is then willing to agree to the change.

A linked change

To make the change more palatable for the employee, you might want to consider linking it to the introduction of something beneficial for them, e.g. it might be easier to ask for their consent to a contractual change at the same time as your annual staff pay reviews. You could even present any pay increase as a trade-off for the change.